Two Akron area credit unions, Towpath and TeleCommunity, both healthy and privately insured, have now merged to form a $115 million Ohio institution, it was announced Monday.
The CUs said the consolidation, in discussion for more than a year, would provide product and tech efficiencies to members,
“This is indeed a merger of equals and is not a mercy killing,” stressed CEO Alan McArthur, referring to mergers regulators have pushed for troubled credit unions.
Under the transaction made official June 1 but with a public announcement delay “to make sure all of the members know first,” the $76 million Towpath in Fairlawn, an Akron suburb, has taken over the $39 million TeleCommunity of Akron, they said. The final computer conversion is expected by Oct. 1.
McArthur will remain as CEO with Rose Bartolomucci, former CEO of TeleCommunity, named president. McArthur, 64, said he will be “retiring in a few years” with the intention of Bartolomucci, becoming Towpath head.
Both Summit County CUs are insured by American Share Insurance Inc. of Columbus.
Before becoming CEO of TeleCommunity, Bartolomucci was deputy superintendent of the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions.
The combined CU will have 21,000 members. Towpath has its roots in the Akron teachers union, while TeleCommunity, which had 9,000 members, had as its sponsor the old Consolidated Freightways trucking firm.
McArthur said there are no current plans to seek out more mergers “but we would look at and welcome opportunities.”
He noted also that the merger trend in Ohio has slowed this year as compared “to the 23 or 34 last year,” in part because of new accounting rules. Nonetheless, CUs like Towpath and TeleCommunity have fared satisfactorily during the recession “though this county has been very hard by unemployment,” McArthur said.